No place on Earth compares to this vast white wilderness of elemental forces: snow, ice, water, rock. Antarctica is simply stunning. Antarctica is a land of extremes: it is the coldest and driest continent on Earth and has the highest average elevation. As the fifth largest continent in the world, Antarctica is also the most Southern, overlying the 'South Pole'.
The 7th continent Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in the world. Antarctica is a vast sheet of ice surrounded by water. The southernmost continent Antarctica is beautiful, exciting, and the most serene place where you can breathe the purest of pure air. If there is an eternal beauty remained anywhere on the earth it is Antarctica. Antarctica is so serene and beautiful that whoever steps there feel an emotional bonding and never dare to exploit the unique wilderness of the white continent. Except for the Belgica Antarctica, a wingless midge, the Antarctic wildlife consists of mostly marine animals including the seven species of Penguins and whales. Antarctica is not owned by any government and a treaty known as the Antarctic Treaty signed by 12 countries came into operation in 1958. The aim of this treaty is to protect the wildlife and peace of Antarctica and let the place remain in its natural condition. There are 1000 to 1500 people live in Antarctica but none of them are permanent residents. They stay in Antarctica as explorer and research personnel.
Though there are 12 airports in Antarctica these are not operational and the only way to visit Antarctica is to board a cruise run by luxury Antarctica travel agents. It is a diverse land covered with ice and reaching Antarctica is itself an adventure as we have to cross the rough ocean to reach Antarctica. Situated on the southern hemisphere, Antarctica is practically an isolated place and it is only a few years that Antarctica has become accessible for the travelers other than the scientists and explorers. Antarctica has endless secrets and facts, here are a few.
Antarctica is the driest, the coolest and windiest place in the world.
Antarctica has the highest elevation in the world.
Antarctica has the biggest sheet of ice and is surrounded by the ocean.
Antarctica holds the highest amount (70%) of the world’s fresh water.
The southernmost active volcano Mount Erebus is located in Antarctica
It was the American sealer Captain John Davis, who first landed in Antarctica in 1821.
The lowest temperature in Antarctica was recorded at minus 89.2 degrees Celsius On July 21, 1983.
Antarctica is also called white continent as is covered with white snow.
In Antarctica, there are a few dry places with almost no snow and humidity.
99% of the Antarctic land is covered with ice with an average thickness of 1.6 km
It is estimated that if the whole ice sheet of Antarctica is melted, it will increase the average sea level of the world by 16 ft.
Antarctica measures an area of 14 million square kilometers, about one-and-a-half times the size of the United States.
The depth of the Antarctic ice sheet can be imagined from the fact that a 3,000 meters high Antarctic mountain range Gamburtsev, is completely hidden under the ice.
There are 200 freshwater lakes buried under the Antarctic ice sheet with Vostok lake being the largest and the size of Ontario lake.
The white continent is divided into east and west section by the Transantarctic Mountains which is one of the longest mountain ranges on earth.
Vinson Massif standing at a height of 4,987 meters is the highest point in Antarctica.
The existence of Antarctica was known in 1820 for the first time it was considered as a group of islands for the next 20 years before declared as a continent.
There are around 80 research stations in Antarctica operated by 30 countries.
During the summer Antarctica sees the highest number of scientists of 4000 that declines to 1000 during the winter.
As an effort to claim a portion of the white continent, Argentina sent a pregnant woman to Antarctica who gave birth to the first baby of Antarctica in 1979.
Starting from late 2011 to early 2012, Felicity Aston a British explorer and meteorologist skied across Antarctica traveling 1,744 kilometers in 59 days
Antarctica hosts around 20000 tourists every year with the highest count of 22000 in 2011.
Antarctica remains completely dark during the winter as the sun disappears behind the horizontal line
The Antarctic penguins live in colonies with a huge population that can rival a city.
The female Antarctic penguins lay an egg and leave for the sea while the warm-blooded emperor penguin nest egg until the mother comes back to hatch the egg.
A tour to Antarctica is always unique because of the unique beauty and wilderness of the continent. The last continent discovered by the human now stands among the first-class destinations travelers like to visit. It is true that visiting Antarctica requires a little fitness as you have to survive the ocean sickness while passing through the rough ocean especially the Drake Passage. These days the luxury Antarctica travel agents organize flights to the nearest islands of King George in the South Shetlands to avoid the trouble of the Drake Passage, but if you want to experience the real charm you have to sail. The real adventurers opt for the cruises as they want to sail along with the roaring albatross and the singing penguins. Here is what you can experience from the Antarctica tour.
The main attraction for any traveler in Antarctica is to interact with penguins. Penguins are the planet’s cutest animals and watching penguins busy in their lives from so close is really a unique experience. Enjoy the incredible view of the penguins marching towards the sea following their mother leader. This is really heart touching and something you can see only in Antarctica. Lock your excitement within your heart and remain calm to experience the cute baby penguins come close to you and pull your shoelace or pick at your coat.
The South Shetland Islands are one of the most unique tourist destinations in Antarctica, they are populated by a large variety of seals, penguins – including Adelie and chinstrap, and seabirds. The islands fall directly on the way to the Antarctica Peninsula. So most of the cruise run by the luxury Antarctica travel agents prefer to stop in the island to offer amazing photo opportunity to the travelers while enjoying the incredible views. You won’t find a place in the world as beautiful and exciting as Antarctica. As you step in the White Continent, you may be overwhelmed by feelings of excitement and wonder. Much of Antarctica is incredible and can be fully understood only after seeing through your own eyes.
This island is home to a number of research stations set up by almost thirty countries in the world. Many of the luxury Antarctica travel agents prefer to stop here. Those who want to reduce ocean travel can directly fly to King George Island. The island has 10% of its land ice-free where you will find many year-round research stations all are within the walking distance. Most of the consultative nations who signed the Antarctic treaty run a station here as the place is directly connected to Ushuaia in Argentina.
The ‘White Continent’ has been a dream for travelers, adventurers, and explorers for ages, and the luxury Antarctica travel agents create more opportunities for people to hit the bottom of the earth. As you set your foot in the Antarctic continent, you will find the most unique wildlife and exciting scenery in front of your eyes.
Encounter Chinstrap, Gentoo, and Adelie penguin rookeries, crabeater, Weddell, leopard, seals, and orca. You can also view humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. To experience the real and incredible wilderness of Antarctica, Board small boats for a safe trip to the shore. Get up close to enormous icebergs, glaciers and magnificent wildlife. If you have not forgotten your swimming suit, opt to brave the polar dive and jump into the freezing waters of Antarctica.
Antarctica is situated in the extreme south of the world in the southern hemisphere. For this Antarctica becomes completely dark during the winter as the sun rays can't reach over the horizontal line.
The only time to visit Antarctica is summer which falls between October to March. Most of the luxury Antarctica travel agents start their expedition programme from November when the big chunks of ice start to break making way for the ships. Also, this is the breeding season for Elephant seals and other large animals.
December to January is the peak summer season with the longest day when Antarctica experiences daylight for about 20 hours. This brings opportunity for the travelers to celebrate Christmas on the white continent.
From February to March, it is the best time for Whale watching when the temperature still remains warm.
Antarctica is practically an isolated place with untouched wildness and no permanent residents. It is only a few years that people other than scientists and explorers are visiting Antarctica. The scientists stay in their respective research stations. The only accommodation for normal visitors is the ship that takes them to Antarctica. For the extremely adventurous people, the travel agents organize camping on the shore.
In Antarctica, you won’t find any restaurant. The colonies are inhabited by penguins and they do not know how to cook food. So there is no question of tasting any particular gastronomy in Antarctica. In the base stations, people mostly eat dry food and canned food. For normal travelers, it depends on which cruise you board. Most of the cruises offer bar and continental food, so it is no different than what you eat at home.
Before visiting a new place we always learn about that place so that we can easily get familiarize with that place. When we plan a trip to Antarctica we should do serious research before we move as the place is totally different than the rest of the world. Here are a few things you should know before visiting Antarctica.
To visit Antarctica you do not need any visa as the continent is not owned by any government but as you have to start from Chile or Argentina, you will need a visa of any of the countries.
There are two ATMs at McMurdo Station. There is no currency of Antarctica but US dollars and EURO are accepted in McMurdo which is the only city in Antarctica.
Pack loads of warm clothes as you are visiting the coolest place on earth.
Antarctica has no to time zone Scientists follow the US time zone here.
Before planning your trip to Antarctica, see your doctor to check your fitness level. You have to survive in the extreme cold. Be aware of Hypothermia a disease caused by extremely low body temperature. The cruise ship provides very limited medical facility and it takes a few days to reach the nearest hospital. So take the precautions. During plenty of water and reduce your coffee and alcohol consumption to stay hydrated as Antarctica is the driest place.
In Antarctica, there never occurred any crime and there is no chance to occur. The only thing that may happen is an injury that you can avoid by taking proper precautions.
Antarctica is an extremely serene place. No one owns this continent. Antarctica is dedicated to scientific research. The aim of the Antarctic treaty is to let the place remain in its natural condition. When you are in Antarctica trip you should follow the below rules.
Enjoy the wilderness but do not disturb them.
Don't become too excited at the sight of penguins or run after them
Don’t start asking questions to anyone, the scientists and researchers remain busy with their work
Don’t take anything from or leave anything in the white continent
Try to explore and learn things with calm.
We at the leisure.com work for customized Antarctica tour to offer you a comprehensive hassle-free vacation. The plans are customized keeping in mind your requirements and interests. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the travel agents plan your Antarctica tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent private tour. In all cases, we ensure a hassle-free experience with luxurious accommodations, expert local guides, and outstanding excursions. So whether you wish to explore the Antarctic wildlife or immerse yourself in the natural charm, write to Leisure.com and we will bring you the perfect tour plan from the top travel agents.